In 1983, Civicorps was founded as one of the first conservation corps in California, and in 1995, Oakland Unified School District granted us a charter to become a high-school diploma program, making us the only drop-out recovery school for the district.
Civicorps’ mission is to re-engage young adults, so they can earn a high school diploma, gain job skills, pursue college, and embark on family sustaining careers. All of our students have dropped out of high school, are low-income, and 97% live in poverty. Almost all (99%) students are an ethnic minority, 39% have been convicted of a crime, 50% are homeless, 45% are single parents, 25% are former foster youth, and 40% have learning disabilities and/or emotional disturbance.
Not only do we have a 72% graduation rate (one of the highest in Oakland), but also one year after graduation, 73% of our graduates are still enrolled in college and/or employed. This success ripples out into the community, creating a legacy of achievement for our city.
Urban Strategies Council named us one of the five core participant organizations of the Oakland-Alameda County Aspen Institute Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund; Civicorps was one of only 12 conservation corps to receive national accreditation by the Corps Network Center for Excellence; and our Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation was just renewed at the highest level.
In August 2014, Oakland City Council included Civicorps’ Recycling Social Enterprise as a partner with Waste Management in a landmark garbage franchise agreement. Nationally, this marked the first time that a non-profit was included in a major city garbage franchise agreement to create jobs for youth.
Also, our English Teacher won Oakland Unified School District’s Charter School Outstanding Teacher of the Year, our lead educator won the first-ever national Robert F. Kennedy Urban Education Award, and our Science Teacher was recognized as a 2014 STEM Woman of the Year.